Original article published in the Mower County Independent, Thursday, December 7, 2023. Reprinted with permission and gratitude.
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
The Kingsland senior is active in a wide range of activities. “I currently participate in Volleyball as captain, Basketball as captain, Track and Field, FFA as secretary, National Honor Society as president, Key Club, and I am a senior class officer as representative. Basketball and Track and Field are my favorite extracurricular activities I am involved in. In the past, I have participated in Yearbook, Knowledge Bowl and Builders Club. My favorite subject in school is Composition – I love writing. My least favorite subject is definitely Physics.”
The 17-year-old is busy outside of school activities, as well. “I work at Chic by Chateau, the cutest little boutique located in downtown Spring Valley. I love my job because I enjoy fashion, interacting with people, and because my boss is so flexible with my crazy-busy schedule. I also work at my family’s business, Ody’s Country Meats. I enjoy working here because I love repping the family business. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family and friends, nap, working out, and going on walks or hikes. I come from a very big family – a seven-person family, to be exact.”
She continued by listing that “Tangled” is her favorite movie “because it’s just the best…I mean, how could it not be someone’s favorite movie?” She went on to cite that “I do not read books often, however, of the few I have read, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is definitely one of my favorites.” She enjoys a wide range of music, including worship, country, pop and rap, citing, “It’s all in my playlist.” Also, she loves a good bowl of macaroni. “One food I could definitely live off of is mac and cheese. It’s SO GOOD. Mushrooms, on the other hand, no thank you.”
Continuing, the senior stated, “My biggest pet peeve is when people make excuses,” and added, “If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to Italy. I love Italian food and their culture, and I think it would be so fun to experience all of Italy. If I could travel to any state, I’d go to Arizona because I visited Arizona once and absolutely loved it. I love the warmth, the beautiful scenery, and the outdoor opportunities available. I would totally go back to visit.”
Kaylin most admires her mother, her brother, and her grandmother. “My mother has never failed to lead me in the right direction in life and has always pushed me to be my best. I hope in the future, I can be as great of a mom and person as my mom is. I admire my older brother Kale. He is the hardest working person I know. He has endured so many challenges and always manages to face them with determination and reach success. I admire his work ethic and overall, his personality.” She added, “I admire my grandma, Robbyn Brody. Out of the hatred and violence in the world, she has a heart of gold. The kindness and generosity she radiates and shares with others is so inspiring and definitely felt.”
Kaylin related that she’d love to make the world a better place. “If I could do one thing to change the world, I would get rid of the mental health stigma. So many people suffer with mental health illnesses, and nobody wants to talk about it. I think it is important to talk about your struggles and feelings. Do not keep them locked up. Remember, you are not alone, and you are loved.”
She highlighted her postgraduation plans. “After I graduate, I plan to attend Bethel University, where I will major in Elementary Education and minor in Special Education. My whole life, I have been surrounded by younger children. I have four younger siblings, and for a long time, my mother ran a daycare, so for a long time, I have been helping out littles, whether it’s reaching the top shelf or helping them read. I love having that leadership role, knowing I can help others. As a little kid, I always wanted to be a doctor. Again, the idea of helping people always sounded intriguing.”
The Spring Valley Kiwanis Club will honor Kaylin and her parents during the club’s regular noon meeting Dec. 13 at the Spring Valley Community Center.
Courtesy of the Mower County Independent, 135 E Main St. LeRoy, MN 55951, (507)-324-5325